A friend cheekily asked me quite randomly;
Would you give oral sex to a stranger for a million dollars?
Now before you flock to your predispositions, I love my friends and such questions are quite commonplace. It’s actually on par with the course for their wackiness and I’ve actually dubbed the phenomena “random questions night” when someone actually comes up with the question. I love these questions and we come up with plenty of jokes and serious discussion for even the most inane questions. My personal favourite is Bang, Marry or Kill The cruder ones seem to be the ones that have the most potential to stir debate while still not compromising the bonds that we share with ourselves.
I didn’t give the question a second thought. “No,” was my quickfire answer. That was the moral answer right? Someone with dignity and especially in this day and age it has become almost impossible to hold oneself with any morsel of it without being stomped and tainted on the ground by those ready and willing to trample on it with their studded boots of armchair sanctimoniousness. That wasn’t my immediate thought though. Sex has been quite a strange presence in my life. I’m aware of its power, pervasiveness and influence that it holds onto others. The implicit and explicit meanings, or non-meanings as some might criticise and how it is evaluated as a senseless commodity and the optional emotions that might be attached to it. There was a bit of awkwardness in my answers (I don’t come across quite eloquent in my phone calls as I do… well actually I don’t come across eloquent anywhere really!) where I expressed my old fashioned and traditional ideals.
I spoke like an idealistic heroine in one of those Lifetime movies who is a self-confessed hopeless romantic and talked about emotions, attachment and wanting to have a commitment and a meaningful relationship with the other person. I’m a little terrible when it comes to these questions. I get a little too involved with the fantasy of these questions which I know surprise and irritate those keen on the gist of my answers. My answers never black and white and social ramifications and the conditions of the questions being bombarded with more questions to get to the heart and intent of those who have asked.
Unsurprisingly there were some game changers which put another perspective on it. Something that sort of hit to the core of me. It was this that made me think about this question a lot more was;
Well, there’s a lot you could do with a million dollars. I would help my family and you could set everyone you care for better just doing something you might not like for a bit
When I reflected back at the moment of the question – I didn’t even think once about how others were involved or the financial concern. I immediately fell into a mode of disgust. Perhaps a moral superiority where I would wish not for circumstances to befall upon me where I would need to resort to something of the sort. When pushed further, I stated I wanted my dignity and integrity to be intact and would rather find another avenue when it comes to taking care of others and for financial stability.
I hate sanctimoniousness, but with brief reflection I started to feel the subconscious part of myself I’ve never given thought to. Did I think I was too good for such a proposal? What would I do to make sure the ones I care for are safe and stable? I’m aware of how fortunate I am where I’m liberated whether to choose to do what I feel and have a moral boundary in which remains intact and unquestioned due to the privilege of not falling under desperation or misfortune which forces me to put me at odds with my beliefs. One of the startling trends I’ve started to realise about our world is that day by day, a lot of things start to confine and break away those liberties and more and more people are forced to compromise on their morality in order to survive. My immediate repulsion would offend those who live and die by what is deemed “socially deviant” industries and my carelessness started to make me sick. I learned a great lesson about not believing in the social stereotypes painted by the majority without garnering the experiences and knowledge about those targeted first.
But what intrigued me more was, why was sex being portrayed as this sinister and evil creature or action when it comes to this question. If I were someone more sexually open, the thought of making love to a stranger for money probably wouldn’t phase me much. But it was not only my range of experiences and attitudes that formed my answer that saw it this way, the question itself was quite sinister. You could easily substitute it with “having dinner with a stranger” or “going on a holiday to another city from your own” and the most of the negative connotations on this question would disappear. Having sex with a stranger is a deviant act that would be worth risking the pride and dignity of the person who is expected to answer.
The friend who questioned immediately justified saying yes, although not desirable it would be “taking one for the team” so to speak and the definition of love was discussed. Love being a force that propels you to do extraordinary and sometimes quite challenging things for the ones you care about This raised another red flag for me, in terms of how our world is slowly making this much more difficult for the upcoming generations. Unemployment and the incredible lack of financial security that our future generations face because of the mistakes and excessive nature of past generations slowly narrow and confine the options that we have and such questions like these – which are seen are silly are slowly becoming realities that we need to confront sooner than later. The unequivocal force of love being romanticised, slowly dying into more pragmatic forms which adapt to the narrowing and homogenised life paths which focus on financial security above all else in our world. Love being the force that motivates us doing questionable things to prove our love to others.
I had to take a jab at that, sarcastically going “I guess I don’t love my family enough to give a stranger a blowjob!”. Although such a joke, I realise is quite insensitive to the cruel reality where that simply isn’t an option. And not just for a million dollars, but just to survive. If my family were to hate me or disown me due to an unwillingness that went against my beliefs and morality to make their lives a little easier, then I suppose that’s not the love I want or I’m looking for in this world and they are free to take up that offer and let me have none of that share of it.
To put simply; my answer is no. That doesn’t define me as this prudish character that doesn’t have desires for financial security or love. I have my own range of experiences (some incredibly traumatic… and I’ll leave it as that) that fuel me to answer this question with a self-loathing sanctimoniousness that even I find quite unbearable sometimes. I mean this with no offense to those that may find my answer dismissive of their struggles, but if I were to get a million dollars or if I were to gain the powers of making sure the people I love and care for are taken care of, I will find another way.